1947: Swindon Town Council, on its second meeting to consider the budget, fixed the rate at 20 shillings in the pound, the figure originally suggested. The voting was 27 for and 21 against. The Finance Committee was almost unanimous in its decision.

1957: Two young Swindon men, Gordon Westall and Ronald Nay, who believed there was no future for them in Britain, were emigrating to Australia – the hard way. They were travelling by motorcycle, sleeping rough and journeying through mountains and deserts.

1977: Deby Sheen, Debbie Beard and Jim Porter were just three of the dancers who were to make a bid to break the world non-stop go-go record of 110 hours at The Affair, Theatre Square in Swindon.

2013: The traditional treats and sights of Easter inspired Swindon College students to get creative. Gabby Steel and Abi Bond created their own version of a Creme Egg on their model, while Elise Street and Sharn Rigley dreamed up an Easter rabbit.


1865: American Civil War: The Siege of Petersburg was broken – Union troops capture the trenches around Petersburg, Virginia, forcing Confederate General Robert E. Lee to retreat.

1902: Electric Theatre, the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opened in Los Angeles, California.

1930: After the mysterious death of Empress Zewditu, Haile Selassie was proclaimed the emperor of Ethiopia.

1962: The first official Panda crossing was opened outside London Waterloo station.

1972: Actor Charlie Chaplin returned to the United States for the first time since being labeled a Communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s.

1975: The construction of the CN Tower was completed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It reacheed 553.33 metres (1,815.4 ft) in height and became the world’s tallest free-standing structure.

1982: Falklands War: Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands.


742: Charlemagne, Frankish king (d. 814).

1805: Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author and poet (d. 1875).

1840: Émile Zola, French author and critic (d. 1902).

1891: Max Ernst, German painter, sculptor, and poet (d. 1976).

1914: Alec Guinness, English actor (d. 2000).

1939: Marvin Gaye, American singer-songwriter (d. 1984).

1940: Mike Hailwood, English motorcycle racer (d. 1981.)

1942: Leon Russell, American singer-songwriter and pianist.

1982: David Ferrer, Spanish tennis player.


1872: Samuel Morse, American inventor, invented the Morse code (b. 1791).

1966: C. S. Forester, Egyptian-American author (b. 1899).

1974: Georges Pompidou, French politician, 19th President of France (b. 1911).

2005: Pope John Paul II (b. 1920).

2013: Milo O’Shea, Irish-American actor (b. 1926).